Brooklyn Nets: 3 takeaways from signature win in Houston

Brooklyn Nets Rodions Kurucs. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Rodions Kurucs. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets Rodions Kurucs. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets were 11 points down with 2:29 to go in regulation and 7 with 1:28 left in overtime, but took down a 145-142 win over the Houston Rockets.

Despite James Harden‘s season-high 58 points, despite the Houston Rockets attempting an NBA-record 70 3-pointers and despite facing a double-digit deficit in the final 2:29 of regulation on Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets climbed back to the .500 mark with a scintillating 145-142 overtime win.

It was the highest-scoring game of the season for the Nets (23-23), topping the 144 points they scored against the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 16 and is the most of the Brooklyn era. It’s the most points the Nets have scored since a 161-157 double-overtime loss to the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 7, 2006.

The Rockets led by 11, 124-113, with 2:29 left, but Spencer Dinwiddie scored 11 points in the final 1:29 of regulation, including three consecutive 3-pointers — the last a game-tying pull-up from well above the break with 8.4 seconds remaining in regulation.

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In the overtime, James Nunnally — signed to a 10-day contract earlier in the day — nailed a corner 3 with 1:28 remaining to give Houston (25-19) a 142-135 lead before Brooklyn closed the game with a 10-0 run to win it.

Dinwiddie made a floater in the lane and drew a foul from P.J. Tucker. The conventional three-point play gave the Nets a 143-142 lead with 28 seconds remaining, their first lead since there was 7:54 remaining in the first half.

The Rockets looked to Harden on the ensuing possession. With DeMarre Carroll shadowing him on the perimeter and the shot clock winding down, Treveon Graham came out to double Harden, forcing him to give the ball up.

Austin Rivers missed a long 3-point attempt and Jarrett Allen got the rebound with 5.4 seconds left. He was able to outlet the ball to Joe Harris, who was fouled and made both free throws with 1.6 seconds remaining.

Houston got a good look at a game-tying shot, but Gerald Green‘s moving corner 3 was long and the Nets had their second-largest comeback win of the season, having trailed by 14. They came back from 19 points down a week earlier to beat the Hawks.

Dinwiddie and Carroll keyed a huge fourth quarter, combining for 32 of Brooklyn’s 46 points — the highest-scoring quarter of the Brooklyn era, topping the 44 points the Nets hung on the Boston Celtics in the third quarter Monday.

It matched the second-highest scoring quarter in the team’s NBA history and was their most points in a period since scoring 46 in the first quarter against the Celtics on Feb. 8, 2000.

As far as fourth quarters, it was the most the Nets scored since putting up 46 on the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 22, 1994.

ESPN Stats & Info, meanwhile, reported that it was the first time the Rockets had lost a game when leading by at least six points in regulation in the last 20 wins, a streak of 682 games.

Brooklyn shot 51.9 percent (56-for-108) and knocked down 16-of-36 (44.4 percent) from 3-point range and the teams combined to set an NBA record for most combined 3-point attempts in a game with 106.

The previous mark for most attempts by a team in the game was 61 by the Rockets aagainst the New Orleans Pelicans on Dec. 16, 2016, while mark for combined attempts had been set by the Rockets and Chicago Bulls with 94 on March 27 of last year.

The Nets outrebounded Houston 57-47, taking advantage of the Rockets not having center Clint Capela due to a thumb injury, and had a 23-14 edge in second-chance points.

Houston, meanwhile, shot just 42.9 percent (45-for-105) and were 23-for-70 (32.9 percent) from deep.

Dinwiddie scored 25 of his team-high 33 points in the fourth quarter and overtime — with 18 in the fourth period alone — and also had 10 assists.

Carroll scored 14 of his season-high 22 points in the fourth quarter, Graham scored a career-high 21 points and Allen posted his first career 20/20 game with 20 points and a career-high 24 rebounds to go with three blocked shots.

Harris finished with 17 points and matched a career-high with seven assists and D’Angelo Russell went for 10 points and seven dimes. Rodions Kurucs had 14 points before fouling out late in regulation.

Harden’s 58 points gave him two consecutive 50-point games (he scored 57 in a win over the Memphis Grizzlies), making him just the fourth player to do so this century (Allen Iverson in December 2004, Kobe Bryant in March 2007 and Harden in December 2017).

He also extended his string of games with at least 30 points to 18, matching Elgin Baylor for the most by any player in NBA history other than Wilt Chamberlain, who was the last player with a streak this long, scoring 30-plus in 20 straight games from Jan. 30-March 1, 1964.

Chamberlain has the four longest such streaks in NBA history at 65, 31, 25 and 20 games.

Harden also had 10 rebounds and six assists. Tucker and Eric Gordon each scored 20 points for Houston, with Tucker grabbed 10 boards as well. Rivers finished with 13 points and six assists and Green had 15 points and two blocks. Gary Clark logged a pair of blocks as well.

The win moves Brooklyn into sixth place in the Eastern Conference ahead of the Miami Heat (21-21). The Charlotte Hornets are 1½ games back in eighth place at 20-23.

With a 120-115 win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, the Detroit Pistons (19-24) reclaimed ninth place, 2½ games in back of Brooklyn and left Orlando (19-25) in 10th, three games behind the Nets.

Brooklyn completes its short two-game road trip in Orlando Friday with a 7 p.m. Eastern tip.

Here are three takeaways from a signature victory by the Nets.